With all she has to offer, she’s his to command…
Aria DeWitt is a runaway bride. Only months away from her wedding, she panicked, returning her engagement ring and donating her gorgeous gown to charity.
She’s less than pleased when she’s reassigned to a new work project and sent to work with Grant Kingston in the middle of nowhere. She knows of his reputation as a recluse and genius, but she isn’t prepared for how handsome, powerful and deliciously Dominant he is or how he ignites something inside her that no man ever has.
Grant isn’t happy when his cherished solitude and creativity are shattered by Aria’s unwanted and unwelcome arrival. That is until he glimpses her carefully concealed vulnerability. Aria’s confidence and responsiveness intrigue him, ensnaring him in a way he’d never believed possible, chipping away the ice that shrouds his heart.
As he interacts with her, he realizes why she ran from marriage. She’s never met someone strong and complex enough to hold her interest. And suddenly, he’s determined to be that man.
About the Author
Sierra Cartwright was born in Manchester, England and raised in Colorado. Moving to the United States was nothing like her young imagination had concocted. She expected to see cowboys everywhere, and a covered wagon or two would have been really nice!
Now she writes novels as untamed as the Rockies, while spending a fair amount of time in Texas…where, it turns out, the Texas Rangers law officers don't ride horses to roundup the bad guys, or have six-shooters strapped to their sexy thighs as she expected. And she's yet to see a poster that says Wanted: Dead or Alive. (Can you tell she has a vivid imagination?)
Sierra wrote her first book at age nine, a fanfic episode of Star Trek when she was fifteen, and she completed her first romance novel at nineteen. She actually kissed William Shatner (Captain Kirk) on the cheek once, and she says that's her biggest claim to fame. Her adventure through the turmoil of trust has taught her that love is the greatest gift. Like her image of the Old West, her writing is untamed, and nothing is off-limits.
She invites you to take a walk on the wild side…but only if you dare.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Sierra Cartwright 2015. All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
“How’s your love life?”
“My…?” Aria Dewitt sat back in her chair and stared at her boss and friend, Julien Bonds. In the time she’d known him, he’d asked some ridiculous questions. But this had to be the most audacious. “What the hell has my love life got to do with anything? And it’s none of your business. It’s illegal to ask.”
“Is it? This isn’t a job interview.”
“Sue me.” He picked up a bright red, organic apple from his desk and tossed it into the air. Without looking, he caught it in one hand. “But first, give me the details.”
Aria felt as she’d stepped into an alternate reality. Which wasn’t all that unusual when walking into Julien’s office. “There are no details.”
“Ha! I knew it sucked.”
“It doesn’t suck,” she protested.
“Yeah, it does.”
Because he was right, she exhaled instead of arguing. “Has anyone ever told you you’re an asshat?”
“All day. Every day.” He grinned.
She looked at him. Unable to discern anything in the steadiness of his gaze, she asked, “Why did you really call me here?”
“It’s time we had a talk.” Julien’s tone was flat.
She gripped the bottom of her chair. She knew how to react to his exuberance as well as his frustration. But she knew that when he lacked emotion, he often had bad news.
Desperately she raced through snippets of recent events, trying to think of where she’d screwed up. She came up with nothing. Her focus was as intense as it had ever been. She was logging more than sixty hours a week at the office. Her phone was always on, and she made sure she was available on nights and weekends. She met all her deadlines while managing to push a group of creatives toward ever-higher levels of technical genius.
“I’m sending you to Los Alamos to work with Grant.” Julien remained unmoving, letting the implications of his statement ricochet in her brain.
“Grant Kingston?” she asked, despite knowing there wasn’t any other Grant in her boss’s inner circle. Julien was reputed to be one of the most creative, brilliant people on the planet. Until this moment, she’d shared that opinion. “That’s worse than working with you.”
“I’m not sure whether to feel insulted or flattered.”
“He’s stalled. And I need him to take a more active role at Bonds. That’s where you come in.”
Julien’s suggestion was, at best, ludicrous. “This is a joke, right?”
“I think it’s a spectacular idea,” he assured her. “One of many I’ve had today. And when you come back to California, you’re going to thank me for the opportunity.”
For a few seconds—an absolute eternity for Aria—she was rendered speechless. “I’ve heard he lives in a cave.”
“It’s a very nice cave.” His words were light, but he didn’t smile. “And it’s more like a…house built into a mountain. Not actually a cave, really.”
Dread slithered through her stomach. He was serious.
Six years ago, Julien had contacted her for the first time. He’d said he’d been following her career. At twenty-four, barely out of college, she’d joined an Internet retailer that was in danger of becoming obsolete. She’d worked her way up the corporate ranks, and her vision for same-day delivery of products had helped them to raise the funding needed to increase their business and compete on a global level.
When she’d received the text message inviting her to a clandestine after-hours meeting at 1, Bonds Street in Cupertino, she’d refused.
But Julien Bonds was not easily dissuaded when he wanted something.
For a year, he’d relentlessly pursued her.
Finally, Aria had become disenchanted with her company’s egotistical CEO. Evidently Julien had heard about the falling out. The next time he’d approached her, she’d agreed to meet with him.
When he’d sent his jet to shuttle her from Los Angeles to northern California, she’d been star-struck.
Everyone in the industry had heard rumors about Julien’s astounding headquarters, but the first view of his round building at night had made her mouth drop. Even though it was after eight p.m., lights had blazed from almost every window. The campus had been teeming with activity.
The moment she’d stepped inside the architectural wonder, she’d understood him perfectly. To him, creativity wasn’t just a concept, it was a demand—an expectation—and she’d instinctively responded to that consuming challenge.
He’d promised her that, as Director of Global Strategy at Bonds, she’d have autonomy, a ridiculously large salary, unbelievable benefits and her own staff. In return, she’d have objectives, and they would be damn difficult to meet. The job would come with stress, long hours and a demanding boss.
And that was where she operated best—at the intersection of impossible and imperative.
As she’d listened to him, she’d realized he’d studied her like he did any problem, figuring out her talents and what she needed in terms of money and challenge before he’d made an offer.
Aria had accepted on the spot.
During the ensuing years, she and Julien had spent significant time together. They had shared numerous successes and a couple of not-so glorious product debuts overseas. Over time, she’d come to think of him as more than a boss. He was also a friend and confidante.
“I don’t understand.” She shook her head. “Did I screw up?” Why the hell else was she being banished from the inner circle to… Jesus H. She didn’t even know where the cave was. “It’s in this country, isn’t it? In the bowels of a mountain somewhere.”
“New Mexico,” he supplied helpfully. “Yes, that’s in the United States. Near Colorado—and Arizona, I think. Gorgeous this time of the year.”
“You’d have said that no matter what time of the year it was.”
“True. But just picture it, a layer of snow will make it refreshing and…pure.”
“Snow? Snow?” She struggled to hold onto her temper. “Come on, Julien. We live in California. I don’t do cold.”
“Didn’t,” he countered. “You do now. Temporarily.” He tossed the apple in the air again. “The change will be good for you. It will allow you to see product development, understand more of what’s involved in getting something to market. Think of it as cross-training.”
“With someone I’ve never met.”
“He’s a friend of mine. We went to college together.”
“Is that supposed to be a recommendation?”
He opened his mouth, but then closed it again. He contemplated the apple before responding. “You have a point.”
She narrowed her eyes as she realized he hadn’t answered her question about screwing up. And he’d asked about her love life. “This is about Simon, isn’t it?”
“Yes.” The word was sharp, its trajectory exact.
Aria wrapped her arms around herself. God. She knew that the fiasco with her former fiancé was going to continue to haunt her.
“But it’s not about punishment, Aria. You didn’t screw up. I’m doing this for you. Everyone needs an occasional change of focus. You work too hard. Hell, I work too hard. It fucks up relationships, interferes with free time, makes us forget we’re human. A break, even an enforced one, clears the mind, helps reset the focus. You’ll come back with even more to give.”
“I don’t need that.”
“Don’t want it,” he corrected.
“Don’t want it,” she agreed.
To the whole world and to her, it had seemed an ideal match. Simon had been smart, attractive, successful. How the hell could she not want to marry him?
She’d ignored the fact that they really had nothing in common and didn’t like to do the same things. Sex was okay, but there’d been no real affection there. They both traveled a lot for work and they were often on different continents and in vastly differing time zones.
As the months had gone on, she’d begun to realize that she’d originally been caught up in the fantasy that they could have a relationship like some of the power couples she knew. But even after he’d put a ring on her finger, their phone calls had rarely lasted longer than a minute. A few had clocked in at less than twelve seconds. Mostly they’d communicated via text or email.
The wedding dress she’d hung in the closet at her apartment seemed to mock her. Friends and family told her the jitters were normal. But jitters had morphed into the fear that if she got married, it would be a big mistake.
She’d finally gathered the courage to sit down with Simon and confess her misgivings. And it turned out, he wasn’t as devastated as she’d feared he would be.
He’d admitted he was mostly going through the motions, too. Get a career, get married. He loved her, but he wasn’t crazy about her. He’d agreed that they both deserved better.
The news had relieved her, but she’d been sad, as well. No matter what she’d thought, at least on some level, she’d been a failure. If not because she’d ended the engagement, then from accepting the ring in the first place.
Though they’d issued a joint statement canceling the wedding, it had been too late to stop the invitations from going out. A well-respected online business magazine had made the announcement top-of-the-page news. It had been accompanied by a picture of her smiling, arms folded. The headline had asked, Fit to lead? The accompanying article had questioned her decision-making and ability to stick with something for the long term.
When she and Simon had both refused to comment, the enterprising reporter had called Julien for a comment. He’d said he had total confidence in her. She’d appreciated his loyalty, and she would do anything to repay it.
“I’m not giving you a choice in this,” Julien said, interrupting her thoughts.
“Are you asking me to resign?”
“No.” He tossed the apple and captured it. Repeatedly. Annoyingly.
He tossed the apple again.
She scowled, temper unraveling in the least ladylike way possible. “Transferring me?”
“Okay. Asking me to take a leave of absence?”
“All those would be worse for Bonds in general.”
As always, he’d keep the company in mind. But what about her sanity? “I’m confused.” She reached to absently twirl her engagement ring. Then, realizing it wasn’t there, she laced her fingers, trying to keep them still. It didn’t work.
“Don’t read anything into this. Have I ever lied to you?”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am a huge fan of the bonds series by Sierra Cartwright, I think that Command is the best book in the series in my opinion the other 2 are a close also. What I loved is the way Sierra wrote these characters, you feel like you are in the house with Grant and Aria watching and listening to them fall in love. I found myself shacking my head and laughing with them every time Julien popped in to check in on them. I recommend this book series to everyone! I can't wait to read more work by Sierra Cartwright.
Just finished command and had a really hard time putting it down. Only Sierra could make technology so sexy. The Dom who isolated himself and the woman who never realized she was a sub. The initial interactions between Grant and Aria only tease at what's to come. Aria never realized what she wanted and Grant forgot what he was missing.. It only took a meddling friend to understand what they both needed. Once again Sierra has created characters that jump off the page and draw you into their story. The scenes in the book aren't only hot, but also very powerful. You can see the action unfolding in your mind as you read deeper into the book. If you liked crave and claim, then you will love command.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 *Complimentary ARC provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. Grant had been mentioned throughout the series, but he never really stood out to me. However, I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to read the series in its entirety. This couple was probably my favorite one. From the cheeky, flirtatious banter to the verbal seduction, their attraction was always palpable. I didn't have a problem with two consenting adults and co-workers moving into sexual territory after a mere twelve hours. They moved fast, but nothing about it felt...skeevy. Grant was a recluse; despite the close friendship to Julien, Reece and Kennedy, he preferred to live in solitude. On some level, he realized he was lonely, but his work for Bonds kept him functioning. In essence, he was hiding from the disappointment of his past, his failed engagement in particular. Aria was a strong woman, successful, stubborn, and a workaholic. Her own failed engagement has left her adrift in her personal life, much like Grant. Even though the story was 80% sexual and 20% of them doing work or simply talking, it wasn't like those books that are just crammed full of sex to get a rise out of the reader. And no offense to such books; they have their time and their place. There was a lot of sex, however each encounter ended with them expressing themselves or opening up honestly. The beauty of Grant and Aria lay in their self discovery, i.e. being workaholics, they'd forgotten how to enjoy life's simple pleasures, preferring to escape disappointing pasts by losing themselves in their work, noticing their lack of companionship, thinking about a different future than the ones they'd laid out for themselves. Their great sense of humor, witty banter and open honesty about everything in their lives, and her eager acquiescence to BDSM was the flirtation, the wooing and ultimately built the romance. My heart broke for them a little towards the end. They seemed to have no problem communicating about everything, except love. And I was proud of Aria for taking the first step, even though she was obviously out of her element and uncomfortable with putting her heart on the line. The ending was emotional, but it was perfect for these two. I have nothing but love for this series! If I could have all three books in one volume, I'd buy it in a heartbeat so I could have hours of uninterrupted reading pleasure and fully immerse myself in this world. I wouldn't mind living in the world surrounding (more like orbiting) around Julien Bonds and his friends. If you're a fan of BDSM romances, then I would highly recommend this series. Command was a Top Pick for me.
Do Reece and Sarah make appearances in the other books?
The sex came from nothing and built on even less.
Wonderful story and charactors. Really enjoy Sierra Cartwright books.
Loved this series. Hope there will be more.
Awesome read, buy the book. Jefferson, is HOT AS HELL, Carolynn is his MUST BE.
With all she has to offer, she’s his to command… Aria DeWitt is a runaway bride. Only months away from her wedding, she panicked, returning her engagement ring and donating her gorgeous gown to charity. She’s less than pleased when she’s reassigned to a new work project and sent to work with Grant Kingston in the middle of nowhere. She knows of his reputation as a recluse and genius, but she isn’t prepared for how handsome, powerful and deliciously Dominant he is, or how he ignites something inside her that no man ever has. Grant isn’t happy when his cherished solitude and creativity is shattered by Aria’s unwanted and unwelcome arrival. That is until he glimpses her carefully concealed vulnerability. Aria’s confidence and responsiveness intrigue him, ensnaring him in a way he’d never believed possible, chipping away the ice that shrouds his heart. As he interacts with her, he realizes why she ran from marriage. She’s never met someone strong and complex enough to hold her interest. And suddenly, he’s determined to be that man. Review: Ms. Cartwright always writes such interesting stories and characters. I really enjoy how she is realistic in how she portrays BDSM relationships and her stories are smart and intelligent. In this third and final story in the Bonds Series ;( I am hoping she will change her mind and write a Julian story. In this story both Aria and Grant need an intervention of sorts and Julian throws these two together in the hopes of sparking not just their interest but creativity for these two who are kind of mired at the moment. Grant is hurting , an over-worked, loner who has gone to New Mexico and has become a recluse and Aria, after just ending an engagement, though while not a recluse, is pretty much on her way by throwing her life into her work. Though neither Aria or Grant want to do what Julian wants, you cannot deny the instant chemistry these two have. I like that she wrote two strong, smart people though each has been through the relationship wringer in their own way. The integral way that the BDSM brings them together and opens each one to the possibilities of more than just a fling is just exciting to read. A sexy, intelligent read, well-done Ms. Cartwright! 4Stars
Commanding, hot and sweet. Great addition to the series.
WOW! Julian forces Aria to go work with the reclusive Grant Kingston. She feels she is being punished for her public break up that gave some bad publicity to Bonds, Inc. Lucky for Aria, Julian knows just what Aria, and Grant, needs. When these two are forced to work together their creativity soars as well as the chemistry between the two. But will that be enough when it is time for Aria to return home or will he let her go. Love Command and Aria and Grant are HOT!
I love this series. This being the third book in the bonds series and its still just as hot as the first one. Although you can read it as a stand alone and would understand it I would say start from the beginning cause its an awesome series. We really didn't get a good view of grant in the first two books so I knew when his story came to life it was going to take a strong women to bring him to the front and aria was just that women. I love how sierra slowly brought aria into the BDSM world. It was like an introductory class to BDSM. As always the sex is HOT and the story just flows. This story was sexy, and sensual. Once I was able to sit down and start reading I couldn't put it down. I have gobbled up everything sierra has written and I haven't found one book that I didn't like and wouldn't reread after all sierra is the person who introduced me to BDSM this women knows her stuff and is able to draw you into this world. Sierra has talent that sucks you into her characters a world of sex, passion and a happy ever after. Don't just pick up this series read them all I promise you want regret it